Meet Sammun, a Graduate Consultant, Stakeholder Engagement

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Sammun Mumtaz

Graduate Consultant, Stakeholder Engagement

AECOM

What drew you to work at AECOM originally? What would that be now – has it changed?

My job search took place back in early 2021, when graduate jobs were few and far between. When I spotted this role, I was immediately drawn to the variety of novel projects that I could have the opportunity to work on. At the time, it could have been quite easy to fall into a trap of settling for a job, however upon researching the work that AECOM does, and the benefits this brings to ordinary people around the world, it was a no-brainer.

Having studied Economics and Politics at university, I did not consider the possibility of looking for a role within engineering/infrastructure development. However, looking at the skills I needed, coupled with the experience I had acquired thus far, I knew I had to give it a shot!

If I saw my job posting today, I know I would apply within a heartbeat! I genuinely believe that the role I have is so unique, as we act as a medium between clients and our colleagues in technical disciplines, who guide the development of a project. We are also completely unlimited in terms of the industries we work in, whether it be aviation, roads, rail or energy! This means that no two days are the same, and the wealth of knowledge you acquire is profound!

How long have you worked for AECOM?

I joined AECOM in August 2021.

What do you like most about working for AECOM?

In my team, we are at an exciting point in time. We have a growing team and numerous streams of work to become involved with. This positivity and optimism for the future is something I have noticed is core to the ethos at AECOM. The opportunities for personal growth, networking and career development are endless, and this optimism is shared by colleagues across the globe.

How has AECOM helped you in your career development?

Having started my career at AECOM, there are numerous ways that I have progressed over the last couple of years. For example, the ADVANCE development programme is targeted at graduates and apprentices who join AECOM. This 2.5 year blended learning programme seeks to refine your skills and competencies, to aid your move to a working life. The resources and workshops that this programme offers, as well as networking opportunities that it provides means you have a strong foundation to build your career.

We also have 16 hours of social value time each year, which allows you to explore volunteering opportunities where you can give back to the community. For example, I spent a day last year at a local primary school, clearing a garden area for a new picnic area for the children. We also got time to explore their mini-farm, petting their pygmy goats and chickens!

As well as this, I have actively participated in various opportunities that have been offered to me, whether it be project-related or internal to AECOM.

How do you use AECOM’s ‘Freedom to Grow’ to give you a good work/life balance?

AECOM’s ‘Freedom to Grow’ policy allows me to balance my family life as well as my work. I have caring responsibilities for a younger sibling, and the flexibility that I have through this gives me the confidence to fulfil my personal responsibilities, while being reassured that my work is not affected as a result. The flexible hours and hybrid working options mean I can ensure all aspects of my life get the due care and attention they need.

What has been your favourite project to work on at AECOM?

My favourite project, and the one I have worked on for the longest, is providing stakeholder engagement and communications support on Phase 2 of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme. Once complete, this project will provide a 1-in-200-year level of protection along the River Aire from Apperley Bridge, Bradford, all the way down to Woodlesford, Leeds.

By establishing a good rapport with the client and contractors on the scheme, I have become invested in seeing this project through to completion. My role is so varied, from providing monthly updates to key stakeholders, organising site tours, attending director level meetings and leading on preparation for the opening event, I really do enjoy working on this project! Being based at a site office, it gives me the opportunity to visit various sites and speak to a host of different people, all of which have helped me to develop my confidence and approach considerably.

What advice do you have for any prospective candidates?

Be open to everything! There is a point where you have to believe in your own abilities and stretch yourself. Working for AECOM, you will see that there are numerous opportunities that allow you to do this. Whether it’s being a part of your local office network, an Employee Resource group, or really excelling in your projects, I recommend you come to AECOM with an open mind and a ready-for-anything attitude!

Are you a member of an ERG and how has that helped you working at AECOM?

I am a member of the Ethnic Diversity Network, and I sit on the career subcommittee. We have four ERGS; Ethnic Diversity, Pride Europe, Gender Alliance, and Beyond Abilities. These internal employee networks give you an opportunity to share your views and encourage employee participation, making AECOM an inclusive and enjoyable place to work. You can broaden your network, improve your organisational skills and thrive in the development opportunities that will be offered to you.

Last year, I was involved in the organisation of a networking event as part of our celebration of Black History Month. We invited a range of diverse speakers from within AECOM and our client network to take part and share their experience of networking through their careers, and providing tips for attendees to use themselves.

This was a really exciting opportunity for the Ethnic Diversity Network, as it excelled our visibility and drive to deliver positive outcomes for our colleagues. Events like this are really helpful for your career development, and the network you create by working across disciplines is so beneficial for your personal growth.

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